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Man acquitted of murder fighting deportation

KAILUA-KONA — A Holualoa man acquitted of murder is now fighting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stay with his family on the Big Island.

The family of Eber Miranda-Garcia is raising money for legal fees and expenses as he fights deportation to Honduras. The 29-year-old was immediately taken into custody following his acquittal in March. An immigration judge granted him $4,000 bond and he since was reunited with his family.

“An immigration judge granted Miranda-Garcia bond, and he was subsequently released on April 9,” said ICE spokesperson Paul Prince. “Miranda-Garcia remains in the agency’s Alternatives to Detention Program while removal proceedings are ongoing.”

Miranda-Garcia, brothers Marlon and Himer and his wife, Jessilyn Hoohuli, were initially arrested in 2017 in connection to the 2015 murder of their landlord, Dolores “Lolo” Borja Valle. Ultimately, Eber and Marlon Miranda-Garcia were charged with second-degree murder.

Borja Valle’s body was found dumped in a Captain Cook coffee field off Keopuka Mauka Road. It took two years before police made an arrest in the case. The investigation focused on Eber and Marlon Miranda-Garcia after tower dumps on cellphone towers revealed their phones were in the area and in use at the time Borja Valle was suspected to be murdered and left in the coffee field.

Initially tried together in 2018, that trial ended in a mistrial when the jury could not return a verdict. The cases were eventually split. Eber Miranda-Garcia was again tried in March and found not guilty.

Marlon Miranda-Garcia is scheduled to go to trial July 23.

According to ICE, all reporting requirements for those checking in with the department are determined on a case-by-case basis. The frequency and duration of check-ins are dependent on many factors.

“Aliens on the ‘non-detained’ docket may be subject to various forms of supervision, such as reporting requirements, travel restrictions and enrollment in the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) Program (including telephonic reporting or Global Positioning System monitoring),” ICE officials state.

Eber Miranda-Garcia’s criminal attorney, Terri Fujioka Lilley, said the 29-year-old has an application pending cancellation of removal.

Fujioka-Lilley has represented Eber Miranda-Garcia since his preliminary hearing in 2017. Other than the criminal case against him, she said there’s no reason to think he’d ever be trouble.

Fujioka-Lilley spearheaded the Go Fund Me account “Help Super Dad Stay With Family” to raise money for the 29-year-old’s legal fees, asking for $20,000. In the 26 days the fundraiser has been running, $2,595 have been raised.

“Still a long way to go, but we are so appreciative of everyone who has helped us get back together for now,” states an update on the Go Fund Me site.

Email Tiffany DeMasters at tdemasters@westhawaiitoday.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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